Looking to celebrate a special occasion? Don’t bother drinking Champagne made by some French peasant! You deserve sparkling wine made by royalty – like the Queen of England. And good news: Queen Elizabeth II has recently gotten into the sparkling wine game, allowing winemakers to produce bottles of bubbly on her estate in Windsor.
The project began in 2011, when the UK’s largest wine retailer, Laithwaite’s, was given permission to plant a vineyard at Windsor Great Park, a Royal Park not far from the Queen’s well-known residence, Windsor Castle. The Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier were planted. By 2013, the grapes were ready for picking, and after two years of aging, late last year, the first 3,000 bottles of Windsor Vineyard English Quality Sparkling Wine were released, unsurprisingly, via Laithwaite’s.
Needless to say, the Queen’s name carries some serious weight, and despite coming from a vineyard that still has a lot of maturing ahead of it, the bottles – which were packaged as a three bottle gift set for £75 – sold out quickly. However, it’s suspected many buyers might have other things on their mind besides the wine’s quality. “Rare vintages can go for astonishing prices,” Tamara Roberts, chief executive of Ridgeview Wine Estate where the wine was actually produced, told the Daily Mail. “It is impossible to guess how much it might be worth one day … but it has all the right accolades, grown on the Queen’s estate, the first vintage. Who knows?”